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Get a pair of MUKISHOES and we Plant a tree

For our campaign we support the association “Reflorestar Portugal” and donate one tree for every sold pair. An international group that works for recovering the Portuguese forests, which suffer from the every year occurring wildfires.
Here the interview with the founders.

planting trees with volunteers.

planting trees with volunteers.

Can you describe the project, association "Reflorestar Portugal".
what are you doing?

We are an Association that aims to inform, bring awareness and inspire the understanding and practical solutions for ecological and human regeneration.
We organize and promote lectures, courses and workshops in the field of eco-literacy and we provide consulting services in the field of forest management.
We implement and stimulate work meetings and gatherings that facilitate collaborative partnerships among all those who share our goal: the elevation of human capacity to cooperate for the regeneration of planet earth.

destroyed forests in Portugal.

destroyed forests in Portugal.

What were the reasons you found the association?

After the wild fires in Portugal on the summer of 2017, that devasted over 500 000 hct of land and killed 106 people and uncountable animals, we decided to take action to create a national movement to bring together people from diferent backgrounds, from Agroforestry to Land Design, Regenerative Economies and collaborative tools, to co-create solutions and strategies in order to have a real impact on the bigger picture that causes these agressive events to happen. 

It is no longer enough to want to know, be informed or talk about it. The rescue of life support systems on our planet has reached the critical point on which we have to act, collectively, to be fast, impactful, and effective.

Human Action requires Communication, Cooperation, Community. These three Cs are the basis for action with a global impact, acting locally in each country and each region. Our goal is to facilitate and promote this Human regeneration hand in hand with regenerating our Soils, Forests and protect our native seeds.

Can you tell us a bit about the present situation of the forests in Portugal?

The native forests in Portugal are lower then 30% of what is considered Forest areas at this point. Although Portugal has a large space considered to be forest, it has been dominated by monocultures of Eucalyptus and Pines for timber and paper industries mainly. Also, intensive olive trees monocultures and the spreading of intensive green houses for berry production (and more recently avocados monocultures in the south). This has a great impact on the abandonment of land, causing Rural Exodus and leaving all of this land basically unattended and unrelated to local communities culture. There is no space or support for family-based agricultural production.

Over time, young people don´t go back to their family lands and most of those lands are not taken care or even annually managed properly, which leaves space for all sorts of problems. The national governance had a huge impact on promoting this abandonment, by closing health care facilities and schools all over rural areas, from north to south, as well as charging tolls on the main connection roads, that were supposed to be free. All this social and economical framing makes it very hard for younger populations, even those who wish to live in rural areas, to be able to go back.

There is an urgent need for preservation of the biodiversity of plant and animal life and the few native forest have a priceless value and must be protected, but every single year are facing very aggressive wild fires, fed by eucalyptus monocultures and unmanaged private lands.

A common image of Portuguese forests.

A common image of Portuguese forests.

Which are your strategies to improve that?

Sharing Knowledge by giving courses, talks, trainings, organizing community actions, as seed collection; 
Inspiring by involving local comunities with the landscape and their ancestral culture. 
Researching on finding alternative ways to create more resilient economies based on regenerative products and circular economy formats;

Promoting and supporting all those testing and implementing those solutions, so it becomes examples for all people, from all social and cultural backgrounds. We work with communities, private landowners, agencies, public services, intentional communities, everybody is needed in such a dramatic moment our ecosystems are facing.

Empowering local communities through sharing knowledge and connecting them to the network of already existing projects we support, doing good ecological practices. To feel part of something bigger that is happening all over the country and the planet, empowers us all to move forward and collectively.

What are your biggest challenges?

Old paradigms and maintaining clear communication clear between all groups we work with. Also, managing different perspectives and personal agendas, so we would say, the human aspect of regenerating our ecosystems is the most challenging vector.

Susana Guimarães - co-founder of Reflorestar Portugal

Susana Guimarães - co-founder of Reflorestar Portugal

Where do you see "Reflorestar Portugal" in the future? What are your plans, or wishes?

We plan to Reforest land throughout the country with regenerative practices, connecting and empowering communities. Regenerate and integrate.

Once that is taking place, we want to send our teams to work in other places of the planet.


THANK YOU!

You can support our campaign on Indiegogo and pre-order your pair of sustainable barefoot shoes made under fair conditions with natural materials entirely in Portugal.

with MUKISHOES in the forest - we want that this is possible also in the future!

with MUKISHOES in the forest - we want that this is possible also in the future!














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Rarámuris

Travelling is one of our biggest passions. Being in Mexico and hearing about the Raramuri culture inspired us while researching for a name for our shoes. We were greatly impressed by their ability for long distance running with minimal shoes.

raramuri

The Raramuri or Tarahumara are a group of indigenous people from America living in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Running is deeply rooted in their culture, like the running for 24 hours, which is the symbol for the turning earth around the sun. Together with their daily life running routines, they are one of the most healthy people, with balanced eating habits even with their hard living circumstances.

barefoot runners mukishoes

Doing up to 300 kilometers barefoot or only with the use of a traditional form of minimal footwear called huaraches, which is like barefoot running.

huaraches

What finally gave birth to our name is that in their language Raramuri refers specially to the men, meaning 'the ones who can run fast' and the women are called Mukí. Even though the MUKI shoes are unisex, still we are two female founders!

mukishoes mountain

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Our vision

muki barefoot shoes ocean


The experience of working in the textile industry gave us some insights of how harmful this industry is for our environment. Mass-production is not only polluting our waters, oceans, air and lands it is also disrespecting the people, who are behind the creations.

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It is a remarkable that 20% of the water pollution is caused by the textile industry and even more shocking, EcoWatch magazine published an article stating that ‘the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world ... second only to oil’.

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The need for transparency and consciousness is becoming more important than ever and MUKI want to be part of this growing change. We have created a healthy comfortable shoe, which have the following guidelines:

 

  • Natural textiles (using hemp, linen, cotton)

  • The leather used is solely from EU without chromium

  • Natural rubber soles or recycled rubber

  • Minimum use of water-based glue

  • Dying the textiles with less water and GOTS certified (no GMO pigments)

  • In the case of the water repellent models we use just natural waxes and resins

  • Fair production conditions in Portugal

  • Materials and Suppliers from Portugal or EU

 

muki sole


Ethical fashion is respecting nature and using the resources that are really needed without over producing, limiting the amount of wastage.

Being respectful with the environment and with yourself, feeling free, not suffering from movement restrictions and stepping away from allowing fashion to condition your body.

Having the possibility of regaining strong feet muscle and a healthy body structure just by walking barefoot or with barefoot shoes is part of our mission.

muki barefoot shoes

In the whole production and research process we are continuously learning a lot and we are very aware that there is still a lot more to know and to improve. We will promise not to lose our curiosity and our selective view to achieve our goal in consuming less and being more conscious!

muki barefoot